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Uncovering secret bars and restaurants: 10 clandestine spots

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You might hear whispers of a new underground bar tucked below a regular CBD building, or you may be rounding a corner of your neighbourhood and stumble down a rabbit hole where your new favourite establishment awaits. We’re talking about secret bars and hidden watering holes; the ones you’ll want to mark with an ‘X’ on your treasure map. Here are some of the clandestine spots we’ve uncovered.

  1. Please Don’t Tell, New York
    Hankering for a late-night hot dog and found yourself lining up for a bite at Crif Dogs? Well, turn left to spot an old-school phone booth and dial zero to reveal a secret hangout where taxidermy animals, cosy booths and expertly mixed cocktails abound.
  2. The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town, London
    In London’s East, a brick-walled, cosy den for evening tipples hides below Spitalfield’s The Breakfast Club. Try one of its inventive cocktails, from an expansive list.
  3. Cookies Cream, Berlin
    In an unassuming, industrial warehouse-lined street in Berlin sits a surprising, shyly-signed entrance to Cookies Cream, a fine-dining vegetarian restaurant. Here, imaginative vegetable dishes are served up, accompanied by fine wines.
  4. Jungle Boy, Melbourne
    Secluded behind Windsor’s Boston Subs is a cocktail-centric bar by the name of Jungle Boy. Step behind a fridge door to emerge in this little slice of tropical paradise.
  5. Bar Martha, Tokyo
    Deep in the heart of Ebisu is Bar Martha, a locale marked only with the word ‘bar’ beside a battered door. Inside, nostalgic music is spun on the record player and an impressive selection of whisky is on hand to quench travellers’ thirsts.
  6. Sora Margherita, Rome
    A favourite spot among locals, Sora Margherita is easy to stroll past but hard to forget. A scrawled menu of traditional Jewish cuisine changes daily, and is always delicious.
  7. The Mermaid Lounge, Brisbane
    Beyond the red curtains of Caxton Street’s famed Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall is a smaller bar where the drink preferences of sailors are poured and a mermaid mural watches over.
  8. Zenkichi, Brooklyn
    A restaurant with the feel (and look) of a bamboo forest, Zenkichi is a secluded Japanese restaurant crafting fresh sushi, sashimi and beautifully presented plates.
  9. Ramblin’ Rascal Tavern, Sydney
    If you can find the door to Ramblin’ Rascal Tavern in central Sydney, you’ll soon be enjoying good drinks, good company and good times.
  10. Burger Joint, New York
    When you enter the Parker Meridian hotel, you’ll see a curtained-off area from which the scent of fried food emerges. Behind the curtains, the Burger Joint flips its famed burgers, grilled cheese, shakes and fries for those who want a hearty feed.

Looking for coffee spots?

Try our favourite cafes from Melbourne to Paris.

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Sonya Gellert

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Looking for coffee spots?

Try our favourite cafes from Melbourne to Paris.

Photo by

Sonya Gellert

Looking for coffee spots?

Try our favourite cafes from Melbourne to Paris.

Photo by

Sonya Gellert

You might hear whispers of a new underground bar tucked below a regular CBD building, or you may be rounding a corner of your neighbourhood and stumble down a rabbit hole where your new favourite establishment awaits. We’re talking about secret bars and hidden watering holes; the ones you’ll want to mark with an ‘X’ on your treasure map. Here are some of the clandestine spots we’ve uncovered.

  1. Please Don’t Tell, New York
    Hankering for a late-night hot dog and found yourself lining up for a bite at Crif Dogs? Well, turn left to spot an old-school phone booth and dial zero to reveal a secret hangout where taxidermy animals, cosy booths and expertly mixed cocktails abound.
  2. The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town, London
    In London’s East, a brick-walled, cosy den for evening tipples hides below Spitalfield’s The Breakfast Club. Try one of its inventive cocktails, from an expansive list.
  3. Cookies Cream, Berlin
    In an unassuming, industrial warehouse-lined street in Berlin sits a surprising, shyly-signed entrance to Cookies Cream, a fine-dining vegetarian restaurant. Here, imaginative vegetable dishes are served up, accompanied by fine wines.
  4. Jungle Boy, Melbourne
    Secluded behind Windsor’s Boston Subs is a cocktail-centric bar by the name of Jungle Boy. Step behind a fridge door to emerge in this little slice of tropical paradise.
  5. Bar Martha, Tokyo
    Deep in the heart of Ebisu is Bar Martha, a locale marked only with the word ‘bar’ beside a battered door. Inside, nostalgic music is spun on the record player and an impressive selection of whisky is on hand to quench travellers’ thirsts.
  6. Sora Margherita, Rome
    A favourite spot among locals, Sora Margherita is easy to stroll past but hard to forget. A scrawled menu of traditional Jewish cuisine changes daily, and is always delicious.
  7. The Mermaid Lounge, Brisbane
    Beyond the red curtains of Caxton Street’s famed Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall is a smaller bar where the drink preferences of sailors are poured and a mermaid mural watches over.
  8. Zenkichi, Brooklyn
    A restaurant with the feel (and look) of a bamboo forest, Zenkichi is a secluded Japanese restaurant crafting fresh sushi, sashimi and beautifully presented plates.
  9. Ramblin’ Rascal Tavern, Sydney
    If you can find the door to Ramblin’ Rascal Tavern in central Sydney, you’ll soon be enjoying good drinks, good company and good times.
  10. Burger Joint, New York
    When you enter the Parker Meridian hotel, you’ll see a curtained-off area from which the scent of fried food emerges. Behind the curtains, the Burger Joint flips its famed burgers, grilled cheese, shakes and fries for those who want a hearty feed.
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WRITTEN BY:
Sonya Gellert

Sonya Gellert is a contributing writer and associate editor for Khoollect. She lives in Sydney....

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WRITTEN BY:
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Sonya Gellert is a contributing writer and associate editor for Khoollect. She lives in Sydney....

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WRITTEN BY:
Sonya Gellert

Sonya Gellert is a contributing writer and associate editor for Khoollect. She lives in Sydney....

READ MORE BY Sonya Gellert

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